WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will challenge Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz at the Barclays Centre, New York on 3 March. The announcement comes after a previous bout between the pair in November, was scrapped due to Ortiz’ failed drugs test.
Wilder will be defending his belt for the sixth time and will be looking to make a statement, against the 38 year old Cuban. On paper, this is Wilder’s toughest test, with Ortiz boasting a record of 28 wins and no losses. He also boasts a knockout percentage of 80% and could trouble Wilder if the American gets sloppy. Wilder himself boasts an impressive 97% knockout rate, with only Bermane Stiverne going the distance with the 6′ 7″ American.
Wilder will have one eye on a massive unification fight with British star Anthony Joshua, but would be silly to overlook the durable Ortiz. The Cuban has defeated the likes of Bryant Jennings, Tony Thompson and Britain’s Dave Allen, and all have been way of knockout. With many boxing fan’s still not convinced of Wilder’s punch resistance, a shock upset may be on the cards. However, the brash American has laughed off such speculation and promised to deliver another eye catching performance.
Love him or hate him Wilder does bring exciting back to the heavyweight scene. He is explosive in it and outspoken out of it and will take some stopping. Personally, I don’t think Ortiz is the man to do it, with age and his lack of speed being the problems. If however, the Cuban can take the 32 year old American into the later rounds and find some big power shots, the upset may just be on.